An award-winning tool and equipment hire company, the HSS Hire and Laois Hire Group is currently focused on a programme of expansion in Ireland, with seven new branches due to open this year. Three branches are relocating – Limerick, Ballymena and Derry – while Cork; Waterford; the Dublin docklands; Sandyford; Oranmore, Galway; Belfast Connswater and Portadown are new locations.
Adding to the HSS hire and Laois Hire Group’s established network of 24 hire branches and super centres across Ireland, the increased footprint will result in 29 new jobs. The group currently has ten HSS branches in Northern Ireland; seven in the south; and five Laois Hire branches.
Having provided complete equipment management and hire services to big businesses; trade and DIY customers since 1957, the Laois Hire Group focuses primarily on safety; availability; value and support. The company works with customers to ensure their businesses are working safely and efficiently, while driving down their costs.
“We have consistently invested heavily in our fleet, even during the recession years, to maintain a modern up-to-date fleet, ensuring our customers receive excellent service,” said MD, Galway native, Michael Killeen who has been at the helm since 2005. The involvement of a leading training company ensures customers and their workforce are fully compliant and safe.
Traditionally recognised for its hire of heavy plant equipment such as excavators, diggers and dumpers, Laois Hire also offers its customers a wide range of small and large tools as well as equipment and machinery across thousands of product categories.
Recent high profile projects in Ireland for the group include the M50, M7 and M8 motorways; the M9; Dublin Airport Terminal 2; the Monasterevin Bypass and Intel. “Our integrated logistics division moves stock around the country effectively and efficiently 24 hours a day, most impressively when Laois Hire moved an entire plant range across to Beckton, East London, for the Olympic Games for which we supplied large plant equipment,” said Killeen.
Last February the HSS Group listed on the London Stock Exchange. This, Killeen said, was a major achievement for the group. “It puts us in a very strong position to invest in the business on an ongoing basis,” he said. Revenue in the group has grown by 99 per cent in the last four years.
The significant acquisition of Mobile Traffic Solutions in September 2013, as well as the rolling out of HSS Power has enabled the company to establish its position as leading specialist tool and equipment hire company in Ireland, Killeen said. The company has also established a comprehensive power access division in the Dublin Greenogue Business Park.
HSS Power allows the company to offer a complete power solution service, providing an array of power generation and power generation related items. it also offers a 24-hour, 365 day specialist back-up and repair service. New capabilities in larger capacity and specialist generators mean that the HSS Hire/Laois Hire Group can supply power for all applications up to a massive 1250kVa.
The company is made up of a number of different sectors under one umbrella, catering for everything from training to cleaning equipment services, powered access, power, plant, portable sanitation hire, VMS boards and vast experience in cleanroom environments.
The purchase in 2013 of new Kubota mini excavators and the more recent purchase of ECI JCB excavators brings the fleet to well over 100. Electric scissor hoists; alloy towers; welders; coolers; heaters; specialist lifting equipment as well as large plant; diggers; dumpers; rollers; tele porters and large diesel access are all part of the arsenal. “We supply everything required for the start to finish of a site,” said Killeen.
Laois Hire won the agency for Selwood pumps in Ireland which are renowned for their eco friendliness; fuel efficiency and super silence, in November 2014, and has already placed a six-figure order with the agency. Laois hire has already grown Selwood’s Irish business base and this is set to continue with high profile contract wins in large-scale building projects. These include the M17/M18 Tuam to Gort motorway in Galway and the M11 Gorey to Enniscorthy motorway. It also works with Waterways Ireland in cleaning rivers and canals.
Recently Laois Hire assisted Enva Ireland Ltd in pumping crude oil from a million litre holding tack on a project along a three kilometre pipeline out to an awaiting ship. It used a Selwood high head model which has the capacity to pump 200 tons of crude oil per hour.
Paul Mann, client director, Selwood, said it chose Laois Hire as its Irish partner because of its strong track record; dominant position in the hire sector; and smooth running of its business.
“It is no secret that Selwood is proud to work with family-owned companies. That is our own story and having researched the hire market in Ireland for three years, there was no competition,” he said. “Laois Hire is focused; sharp; innovative and progressive.
“Michael Killeen leads from the front and has internationalised his business very successfully over three decades. It has a commitment to quality brands and so adding Selwood to its portfolio made sense. It also opens up new market channels, both in Ireland and internationally.”
Killeen said that researching Selwood was part of his company’s positioning also. “We had to be sure it would be the right fit and it is. We have already won major contracts on the back of the Selwood agency with our engineering clients. This has led to ten new high-end specialised jobs being created and we expect hiring to continue in the short to medium term.”